Dave Holland Octet: Pathways (2010)
At first it's possible to imagine listening to the entire big band due to the fullness of the sound. Some of its core musicians continue that style with the familiar Holland approach, accentuated by Smulyan as well as saxophonists Chris Potterand Antonio Hart, trombonist Robin Eubanks, trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, and vibraphonist Steve Nelson.
Admitting that he likes to revisit older tunes with a renewed sense of purpose and creativity, Holland originally performed "How's Never" with the Gateway
The mood is slowed down a bit on "Sea of Marmara," featuring Potter on soprano, while "Ebb and Flow" showcases Eubanks, ending with everyone improvising in tandem over the rhythm. It's Smulyan's turn on "Blue Jean," where he throws in a "Shadow of Your Smile" reference on this ballad, before passing the baton to Sipiagin on flugelhorn and, later, Steve Nelson's meticulous strokes coming through in the left channel. The trumpeter continues to make a statement with his original "Wind Dance," which includes Hart's pleasant flute complement, to provide depth and musicality.
The closer, "Shadow Dance," was originally recorded by Holland's 1980s quintet on Jumpin' In (ECM, 1984), as well as on What Goes Around. It's the album's longest track, evolving through a steadily forward-moving, polyrhythmic swing.
Track Listing: Pathways; How's Never?; Sea of Marmara; Ebb and Flow; Blue Jean; Wind Dance; Shadow Dance.
Personnel: Dave Holland: bass; Chris Potter: tenor and soprano saxophones; Robin Eubanks: trombone; Steve Nelson: vibraphone, marimba; Nate Smith: drums; Antonio Hart: alto saxophone, flute; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet, flugelhorn; Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone.
Record Label: Dare2 Records
Style: Modern Jazz